Some Legends Last Forever
Today, he takes us to kite flying and to the world of government employees who spend considerable time reading files.
… as I add another chapter here, in his own words.
* * *
Around Delhi, stood the ruins of earlier times. Now many of them are a part of Delhi.
In these ruins stood the tomb of Nizamuddin. Every year, an ‘Urs’ was held. Hindus and Muslims converged here from far and wide. There were Qawali competitions. The singers would sing in praise of Nizamuddin. Some would sing in abandon.
My grandfather would take me to attend and this was yet another experience for me. But I did not enjoy it.
What I did enjoy was kite flying. At the time of the Urs, famous kite fliers would attend and matches would be held.
Huge beautiful kites were flown made of multi-coloured paper. The strings would be rubbed with crushed glass and, after a measured length, the strong string would be wrapped around beautiful coloured spools.
The huge kites would reach great heights and then would be pulled back. The competitors would try to cut each other’s strings with their own.
The competition was fierce and swift with roars of “it is cut, it is cut….!” The fallen kite would quiver in the sky and fall to the ground.
In this type of kite flying and competition, there was a culture, an art, and it occurred to me afterwards, even a science.
The people of today no longer take to kite flying but prefer to stay indoors and read books or sit in Government offices and read files.
People do not realize that the human eye at birth can focus almost unto infinity. Nature does not allow us to see the infinite. Slowly the eyes lose this ability. The lenses see only close objects and those people who spend their days reading files; their eyesight becomes so limited that they cannot see very far. This is called ‘myopia’. Government employees are prone to this condition.
The affliction of the eyes affects the mind also. The mind only sees what is in front of it. These persons cannot see beyond the range of the file.
The people who live in wide open spaces can see far, and their minds and thinking see a wide, wide world.
Kite flying reached us through the Mughals, from China. It keeps a man’s eyes healthy. The mind and thoughts are far-reaching. I learned this from my grandfather.
…and so the Kaul Journal continues.